“We are looking for an architectural practice to design a contemporary replacement dwelling. This is an opportunity to do something new and unique in the area. Our ideal working process is to partner with a firm we can work with throughout the build process supporting us beyond just the architectural stage. We have never built a house before and need real expertise to make it happen and to deliver it to the expectations we have.”

. . . private client, brief . . .

Project & Environmental Data

Project Info

  • Location: Surrey
  • Cost: £4,000,000
  • Image Credit: Studio FIP

Environmental Data

  • Energy Efficiency
    1 2 3 4 5 6
  • Insulation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Thermal Mass
    1 2 3 4 5
  • Airtightness
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Solar PV
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Embodied Carbon
    1 2 3 4
  • Heating/Hot Water
    Electric Gas Ground Source Air Source
  • Solar Thermal
    Yes No
  • Rain Water Harvest
    Yes No
  • Ventilation
    MVHR Natural
  • Energy Storage
    Yes No

Commissioned to design a large contemporary, flexible home for an international family with young children, set within a private estate in Surrey we spent time uncovering the history and character that made this site so unique.

The entrance on the northern boundary traverses a secluded entrance courtyard, bounded by mature trees. The entrance in the east facing portico is accentuated by sharp shadows while the garden beyond is kept as a surprise - revealed slowly.

Upon entering the triple height entrance space, the eye is drawn upwards whilst the long vista though the open plan living space leads the eye along the length of the garden to the stunning woodland backdrop. Any potential views of neighbouring houses are excluded creating a feeling of tranquillity and seclusion, so rare on the outskirts of London.

Our designs are heavily influenced by location, the site and its wider context. We take inspiration from thorough research of place and use it to influence our design solutions so that they are unique to the setting.

A heavily glazed ground floor formed from a brick plinth unifies garden and building, blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. Spaces within appear carved out of a solid volume, with infill timber panels to soften and add relief. Light and dark spaces interplay with contrasting hard and soft materials. The T-shaped plan is simply divided into key functions: Living, eating and dining to the south facing wing, with a play space (and a play courtyard) in the west facing wing.

The wings of the house enclose the sunny garden giving it both security and privacy. Focused views look towards the south west of the site and adjacent woodland. The master bedroom wing faces west for views but has an east facing aspect for early morning light. Three children’s bedrooms and guest suite are also provided at first floor. A single-story gatehouse benefits from its own south facing terrace courtyard and parking to provide autonomy from the family spaces and flexible independent accommodation for a home-office, live-in staff or visitors.